Santiago Fernández (footballer)
|Full name||Santiago Fernández Fernández|
|Date of birth||7 March 1985|
|Place of birth||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 1, 2008.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 August 2007
Santiago Fernández Fernández (born 7 March 1985, in Mexico City, Mexico) is a former Mexican football striker who last played for Puebla F.C. in México Primera División. Once hailed as one of Club América's (and Mexico's) top footballing prospects, Fernández disappeared from the sport after a brief spell in FC Barcelona's youth squad, only to resurface a few years later for América.
His talent was soon recognized by coach Manuel Lapuente, and promoted him to the senior squad in late 2002. His professional debut came during the Clausura 2003 season, on 25 January 2003; in a game against San Luis F.C.. After a few more appearances as a late substitute, Lapuente inserted Fernández in the starting lineup of a game against Club Atlas.
Soon after, Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker took over the reins of the club and relegated Fernández to the bench. Following an Apertura 2003, Santiago decided to try his luck abroad, signing with FC Barcelona B to play the 2004–05 season. Fernández was selected to represent his country at the 2005 Under-20 World Cup qualifying tournament, in which Mexico failed to advance to the main event, suffering two defeats and drawing once.
At FC Barcelona, Fernández had limited play time. In 2006, after a postseason loss to UANL Tigres in the Apertura 2006 tournament and a disappointing start to the Clausura 2006 season, Manuel Lapuente made his way back into the head coaching position at América. Immediately, Lapuente sought out Fernández and convinced the young striker to play once more for América. Santiago showed no signs of rust, scoring in a CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal match against Jamaica's Portmore United, which América won 5–2. Fernández also participated in the Mexico league's Clausura 2006 season for the Águilas.
After the off-season shakeup that saw strikers Kléber Boas and Aarón Padilla shipped out to other clubs, and signees Vicente Matías Vuoso and Salvador Cabañas join the team, Fernández was primed to secure a regular spot in the team's lineup, under new coach Luis Fernando Tena. América under the leadership of Tena suffered; he was fired. Fernández saw little playing time, although coming off the bench most games. With new coach Daniel Brailovsky, Fernández played less. The media reported that there was a feud between the two. Before the 2007 Clasura started, Fernández left to Club Toluca.
He is known for his role at the 2008 CONCACAF Men's Pre-Olympic Tournament; he was a substitute in the last match against Haiti, when he, along Luis Angel Landín and César Villaluz, missed easy goals. Santiago missed a shot from nearly 2 meters from goal with no keeper and was unable to get to the ball several times in crosses from his teammates.